With an increasing demand for access to information online, efforts are underway to have all of Barbados??? laws available digitally.
Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, said the Improved Access to Justice Project (IMPACT), was currently working with officials to ensure the laws were updated and available to all citizens.
He made these comments while delivering the feature address at the Caribbean Association of Law Libraries conference at the Accra Beach Resort and Spa.
Mr. Brathwaite, who is also Minister of Home Affairs, noted that at present, 617 statutes, 740 pieces of subsidiary legislation, and 549 annuals prepared in 2009/2011 were already converted.
???It is our hope that in the very near future, we would have all the laws of Barbados online and up-to-date. This project is not only for Barbadians, but also the wider world, so people will be able to access all our laws online,??? he said.
The Attorney General explained that the key components of the project were the further development of Caricom legislation; legal periodical literature; treaties and improvements to the Carilaw database; and assistance to law libraries of the University of the West Indies and the Universities of Guyana and Suriname.
In addition, persons can go online and view judgments handed down from the Supreme Court of Barbados, the island???s Court of Appeal, and decisions pertaining to Barbados that were rendered by the Caribbean Court of Justice.
???We are seeing more and more hits on the website, which is consistent with the average person paying more attention to what is happening within the legal sphere and they want to have quick and easy access to information,??? Mr. Brathwaite stated.
However, he told the librarians present that there will always be a role for them to play in ensuring that the vast amount of knowledge was passed on.??He explained that the average law student depended heavily on the guidance of librarians when they first start their studies. And, rather than become obsolete, the Attorney General said it was likely the roles and responsibilities of libraries would increase.
Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson also noted that law librarians would continue to be a resource of information, particularly for new students. However, he urged them to continue welcoming technological advances and facilitate the move from paper to password.